What You Should Know About Winning Unemployment Appeals..  as the Odds On Underdog

Winning a tribunal  unemployment hearing (first level unemployment appeal)  is not  just so you can tell your version  about why and how you lost your job,

It is to address specific issues of unemployment law.

And you must PREPARE to win.   At least, to  my way of thinking because you do want to avoid if possible, an unemployment insurance board of review appeal.

Board of REVIEW .. the name explains what the  panel does.  They review the legal record created at a tribunal hearing .. for procedural errors.

Unemployment  tribunal hearings however are the only full fact finder you're bound to get and the proceedings can be impacted by all the nuances of strong and moral, or weak and frail, human characters .. sometimes up to and including  a hearing officer  presiding over the hearing who also has a difficult time quieting predisposed biases.

A hearing officer's mandated job is to conduct a fair and impartial hearing and that means all he/she should do .. is pay attention to the LAW and ALL the current precedents interpreting what that law means.

In case you haven't read it before here.  unemployment laws vary by state and so do administrative law procedures which rule over the conduct of the hearing.  

Ultimately the variances impact  benefit recipiency statistics by state.  (Play around with #13)

A first level unemployment appeal letter  is the right of any aggrieved party.  It  signals disagreement  with the claim department's determination on a claim for benefits and requests a hearing to be docketed.

The letter  transfers the  claim to the appeal section of a department for an actual hearing (or, a full fact finder proceeding)  A tribunal hearing decision  is almost always, the final yes, or no about the benefits.

Although I know employees don't tend to understand the importance or, the finality of this proceeding .. employers I coordinated hearing for .. did .. because that was my job .. to relay the urgency of the first hearing and protect the rights to due process before the hearing.

Below is a list of basic rights you can use to protect your rights to due process should  you be appearing pro se.  (Acting as your own administrative hearing representative.)

  • A right to submit documentary and other types of evidence.
  • A right to call witnesses, friendly, or hostile (but be careful of  hostile).
  • A right to subpoena relevant evidence and/or reluctant witnesses.
  • A right to submit relevant evidence into the record
  • A right to make objections to aspects of testimony,  or evidence being  offered into the record of the hearing.
  • A right to cross examine employer  witnesses. (Always easier said than done.)
  • A right to make requests during a hearing.  (Requests can be used to preserve a right making it possible to continue the fight to another day .. or used as support for a written argument to a board of review.)
  • The right to not ignorantly waive a right to due process. (Do you really think those employer documents or hearsay testimony should be allowed into the record and considered in the hearing officer's finding of fact?)

These are just the basic rights both party is given and expected to know how to use effectively at a hearing to present the best case possible for benefits, or against benefits, so in the event the hearing officer does err .. you have a point of appeal to point to in your written argument .. for the review board.

So, what issue(s) of law will show up on your notice of hearing .. when either you, or your employer appeals a claim determination to the tribunal appeal section?

When you quit  the  burden to prove good cause attributable to the employer is yours.

When discharged  the burden to prove willful misconduct is the employer.

A  letter of appeal should NOT be untenable.  There is absolutely  no reason to begin the unemployment appeal process with an untenable, or self disqualifying  request for a hearing.

Questions About Unemployment Appeals    Find mistakes to avoid and suggestions to consider in someone's bad, or  good unemployment hearing experience.

Q&A's -  Unemployment Question about quitting, or getting fired and I start thinking about what argument can be made to what is supposed to matter most at unemployment appeals ..  UI Law.

Free Case Evaluations    Just an proffered opportunity to get an hones answer since I no longer accept new questions.

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